Greedy Guts

This varied thrush is in the same family as the robin, but for some reason we see them here more often in the winter or very early spring. I think this might be Mrs. Thrush.

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Mr. Thrush, I presume? Either way, they are cooling their heels on the mound of snow that covers the top of a rhododendron. It seems Greedy Guts is hogging the feeder.

029aNo one else can get near the suet block. I can just hear that starling calling from the feeder, “Eat your heart out.” Sure, the starlings are hungry too, but they don’t care if the other birds starve. I don’t like that.

100 Europeans starlings were introduced (unfortunately, IMHO) to North America in 1890-1891. Now the bullies are everywhere. Pests, they are. They do have a talent for mimicking other bird sounds, which makes them interesting, but still not lovable.

My pretty little thrushes, sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches,  and juncos are afraid of the starlings and have to wait until he goes away to burp or take an antacid pill, before they can have a turn at the dinner table.

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The starling’s coat is glittery

With iridescent shine.

His manners are atrocious, 

But he’s master of the mime.

35 thoughts on “Greedy Guts

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      My favourite is the Swainson’s thrush, similar to these – maybe not as bright. We rarely see them but we hear their beautiful song in the spring when they arrive here about May.

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  1. Sonja Forrester

    I agree the starlings are bullies and greedy too. I had to chuckle this morning, however, when a group of flickers showed up at the suet cages and scared the starlings off. Yippee! The varied thrush has only been hanging around my feeders now for about 3 days. So nice to see them again. Great photos, Anneli!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’ve had one flicker here and he is bigger than the starlings. Wish he would spend more time here. Glad you liked the pics, Sonja. You’ll have to get out there with your camera too.

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  2. wordsfromanneli Post author

    I’m not crazy about alligators or snakes, but I don’t mind seeing the iguanas or squirrels. We have only the squirrels here (from your list), but even those are few around our house. I hope they’re all sleeping until winter is over.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’m guessing they like the suet more than just seeds. They’re thrushes so probably they like insects better than seeds, but I’ve seen them eating berries when they’re desperate. And yes, their range goes up the coast a little way past Vancouver Island – not too much farther though.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Aren’t you lucky!!!! The snow has been so deep and so long-lasting that it has been difficult to get around. Our road hasn’t been plowed for days and days, so we’re almost housebound except for the Captain’s valiant efforts to charge through the deep snow with our 4×4. My car is still resigned to the garage. The snow is starting to go, and I’ll be glad to see the last of it, pretty as it was.

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  3. roughwighting

    I feel guilty about shooing the starlings away from the suet, but they sure take it over so our smaller (and seemingly sweeter) birds can’t get at it. The starlings just look mean, you know what I mean? 🙂 Your photos are phabulous (I’m in one of those moods). xo

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